Hobbies & Advocacies

Fund a Dog, Save a Life

An earthquake rumbles and buildings collapse, a mudslide thunders down a mountain onto a village, a typhoon wreaks destruction as it roars across the islands reducing buildings to rubble. Almost before the dust settles, Philippines K9 SAR Teams (Search and Rescue)  are there, searching for victims. With a sense of smell far more powerful than a human’s and an ability to probe nooks and crannies that humans cannot penetrate, these dogs save lives and bring comfort to the families whose friends and relatives suffered in the tragedy.

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth. Studies show that for every ONE search and rescue dog team, there are close to 10 MILLION people in the Philippines. Compare that to countries such as the United States or Canada where the ratio is closer to one search and rescue dog for every 16,000 people. Based on the damage estimation by the Metropolitan Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study after a rupture of the West Valley Fault, approximately 40% of the total number of residential buildings within Metropolitan Manila will collapse or be affected. That means 170,000 residential houses will collapse, 340,000 residential houses will be damaged, 34,000 people will die, 114,000 others will be injured and many, many thousands of our fellow Filipinos will be trapped in the rubble.

What science tells us is that the return period of a major Manila earthquake is estimated at 200 – 400 years and that no large earthquake has happened in the West Valley Fault since 1658, or 357 years ago. This means Metro Manila is due for a big quake. We must prepare now.

Canine search teams play a critical role during structural collapse incidents. The canines help search teams to locate victims, using their incredible sense of smell to detect live human scent, even from a victim buried deep in the rubble.

Even though many hard-working government and private agencies are making progress in preparation, according to a Japan International Cooperation Agency study the number of life-saving Philippines K9 SAR Teams available in the Philippines would be woefully inadequate to deal with rescuing the men, women, and children that would be affected.

This is the reason why Gerald Anderson, who loves dogs and loves helping people, set up a Foundation to address this problem.

The Gerald Anderson Foundation recognizes that there is a need to increase the Philippines K9 SAR Teams available in the country by providing highly–trained dogs and handlers for the service of the community. This is true not only for earthquakes but also for typhoons, floods, lost children and even adults, and the many other emergency situations that may suddenly arise.

The Gerald Anderson Foundation is a non-profit volunteer organization based in the Philippines with a two-fold mission: First, it aims to help save lives and to assist in the recovery of missing persons by providing highly-trained canines, skilled personnel, and specialized equipment during calamities and other emergencies; Second, it aims to help enrich the lives of veterans and persons with disabilities by providing them with task-trained service dogs that can assist them with their daily tasks.

The Gerald Anderson Foundation trains its dogs from puppies until adulthood so that they could work efficiently in a wide range of situations. Among other things, they are trained to navigate through dark buildings; to work around unstable surfaces; to remain unfazed when confronted with animal remains, food distractions, loud noises, and other external factors.

The Gerald Anderson Foundation likewise provides their Philippines K9 SAR rescue canine handlers with specialized training in first aid, visual tracking, as well as other skills needed to be formidable and dependable Philippines K9 SAR Team Leaders.

The Gerald Anderson Foundation will also respond to national emergencies. Its teams will be made available to the National Government through the K9 Special Support Squadron of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary. This Squadron was formed with the specific purpose of allowing the Foundation Philippines K9 SAR teams to become a resource in the portfolio of the assets available to the Philippine government disaster management agencies. The Squadron headquarters are co-located on the Philippine Coast Guard K9 Group in Taguig. The Squadron has an excellent working relationship with their counterparts in the Philippine Coast Guard.

The Gerald Anderson Foundation offers services provided to requesting agencies and to the family of lost persons free of charge.  No person or agency is ever charged for Foundation ‘s services. Foundation members incur all costs including gas, vehicles, training, equipment, and dog expenses. It relies solely on donations from the community to continue supplying this vital service and build the network of volunteers.

FUND A DOG, SAVE A LIFE: A FUNDRAISER. April 5, 2017. 6pm-10pm. The Blue Leaf Pilipinas, Belle Avenue, Parañaque City. With Martin Nievera, Piolo Pascual, Rayver Cruz, Chokoleit, DJ Chacha, Gretchen Fullido and surprise guests.


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